History

For more than 125 years, United Way has evolved to meet the needs of the times. Today, the world needs United Way more than ever.

With a strong foundation of community connections formed through over 58 years of history, United Way of Southern Nevada has been solving community issues since 1957.

For nearly a decade, United Ways around the country have been slowly transforming away from serving only as community fundraisers to a more essential role as catalysts for systemic community change. United Way’s strength is joining organizations, volunteers, companies and donors together to create long-lasting community change. By bringing people and organizations together around innovative solutions, we change the lives of one in four people living in southern Nevada.

Learn more about our history. It just might inspire you to help us build a better future.

A Woman, a Priest, Two Ministers and a Rabbi…

In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together... It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn't walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place. 

Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put together an idea that became the nation's first united campaign, benefitting 10 area health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to collect the funds for local charities, to coordinate relief services, to counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and to make emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 for this greater good, and created a movement that would become United Way. 

Not Your Grandfather’s United Way

United Way still provides solutions to communities' toughest problems. But we're not your grandfather's United Way.

Today's United Way is bringing people, organizations and communities together around a common cause, a common vision, and a common path forward. United Way Worldwide is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities with more than 40 countries and territories, where people are powering big ideas and big action by donating, volunteering and speaking out through United Way.